September 23, 2005

Tennis Teams Await First Tests

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The Cornell men’s tennis team will see its first test of the 2005-2006 season this weekend at two tough tournaments, the Cornell Fall Invitational and the Farnsworth/Princeton Invitational.

Head coach Barry Schoonmaker will take four members of his team – juniors Dan Brous, Nick Brunner and Josh Raff and senior Brett McKeon – down to Princeton, N.J., to compete against some of the Ivy League’s finest players. The rest of the Red squad will stay at Cornell to face off against a wide assortment of competitors, including local rival Binghamton.

Although the Red has yet to play a match, expectations for this year are very high.

Cornell is coming off of a 2004-2005 campaign in which it compiled an overall record of 11-10, while going 3-4 in the Ivy League, good enough for a tie for fourth place with Princeton.

Although these numbers are by no means dazzling, the squad graduated only two seniors and brings back last year’s second team All-Ivy League selections Brunner and Raff.

Furthermore, Schoonmaker has brought in a very talented and accomplished freshman class of five recruits, all of which he believes have a very big upside. This opinion is echoed by many returning members of the team as well.

“Although we finished in the middle of the pack last year, we did not lose a starting singles player. I think we can do some serious damage this season,” Brous said.

Brous and the rest of the team will start to see for the first time this weekend if such lofty expectations are justified.

Meanwhile, the Cornell women’s tennis team continues its fall season this weekend in Philadelphia at the Cissie Leary Invitational. The team is coming off of a very impressive outing at the Cornell Fall Invitational two weeks ago, a tournament in which the Red took two titles and saw numerous players advance to their respective finals.

Head coach Laura Glitz will take three players down for this weekend’s action including juniors Kasia Preneta and Nisha Suda, as well as senior Mollie Edinson. This trio will face a very challenging assortment of players from not only Ivy League rivals such as Princeton, Harvard and Columbia, but also traditional powerhouses like William and Mary.

Although facing such tough competition this early in the season might seem discouraging to most, Glitz is more concerned with the valuable experience her players will gain rather than the performance of her team.

“Fall tournaments are very good preparation for the spring season and will be a good indicator for where we will be at as a team by then. It will allow me to set my lineup and have a general sense of how all of our players will fit together,” Glitz said.

She is looking to improve a team that finished last year with an overall record of 9-9, but stumbled in Ivy League action with a 1-6 mark. Even though the team lost three seniors to graduation, the recent addition of six very talented freshman should put the Red well on its way to competing for the Ivy League title in the spring.

Archived article by Lance Williams
Sun Contributor